After a gap of 36 years, the airport is being brought back to life after several calls for its revival by the residents of Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Goalpara and Chirang districts.
Assam’s Rupsi airport, situated in strategic and close proximity to Bangladesh, Myanmar and China — and until the early 1980s, the sole means of ensuring air connectivity to the lower Assam districts — is set to restart operations from September 2019.
Minister of state for civil aviation Hardeep Singh Puri informed parliament of the devlopment on Thursday. This means that work on renovating the airport, in Parbhatkhora sub-division of the state’s Kokrajhar district, is on track.
In February, while laying the foundation stone for the renovation, chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal had told local reporters that the airport was likely to reopen in September – after a gap of 36 years.
Situated about 15 km from Dhubri town, bordering Bangladesh, the airport, which as a 600-feet-long runaway, was set up by Allied Forces during World War II and played a key role in providing air support to the American army’s China-Burma-India theatre.
Even though Indian Airlines flights, plying under its Vayudoot scheme, touched down at the airport, it wound up its operations in 1984. Since then, there has been a demand from a wide section of people residing in Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Goalpara and Chirang districts in Assam and the Garo hills in Meghalaya for its revival. Residents of all these areas need to travel to Guwahati for air connectivity.
Staff Report GTM